MONROVIA, Liberia (AFP) — Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended Monday that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf be banned from holding public office for 30 years because of her alleged role in a civil war.
In its final report, the panel investigating Liberia's successive 1989-2003 civil wars included Sirleaf's name in a list of people it accused of being "the financiers and political leaders of the different warring factions".
"They (those named) should be banned from occupying public office for 30 years beginning the day of the passage of the report at the parliament," the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) said.
On the list, seen by AFP, the name of Sirleaf, who was elected in 2005, was present along with those of several members of her government, including Transport Minister Jackson Doe, the elder brother of former president Samuel Doe.
In a hearing before the commission in February, Sirleaf denied ever being a member of the movement led by rebel leader and warlord Charles Taylor, who was president of the west African country between 1997 and 2003.
But Sirleaf told the truth panel she had met Taylor several times during Liberia's successive conflicts and had also collected funds for him while he was preparing to oust Doe in the 1980s.
The TRC also published a list of eight warlords it said should be charged with crimes against humanity and brought for trial before a special tribunal in Liberia. These names included those of Taylor and of Prince Johnson, who is currently a senator.
Sirleaf did not respond Monday to the report's recommendations, but others named in the report did.
Former warlord Johnson said the TRC had failed to list several others involved in the wars and branded the report "a joke".
He has declared his intention previously to resist any attempt to raise charges against him as a result of the report.
Saah Gborlie, who was deputy director of police during Charles Taylor's regime, said: "This report was established to satisfy those who have been remote controlling the process of the TRC.
"I will not go anywhere. Those who want to come for me should bring a bulldozer," warned the lawmaker, whom the TRC accuses of committing crimes during the civil wars.
Taylor led the National Patriotic Front of Liberia in the country's first civil war from 1989, in which Doe was executed by a splinter group headed by Johnson.
Sirleaf challenged Taylor and lost in 1996 elections, but when Liberia was plunged into warfare again seven years later, Taylor was forced by domestic and international pressure to quit power and hand over to an interim government.
Sirleaf went on to fight an election in 2005, ran off at the polls against a former international footballer, George Weah, and won. She was inaugurated in January 2006 and established Liberia's TRC early in her rule.
Taylor is already charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from his support of Revolutionary United Front (RUF) guerrillas in neighbouring Sierra Leone's 1991-2001 civil war.
The 61-year-old has been on trial in The Hague since January last year following his arrest in Nigeria and his handover to a Special Court for Sierra Leone. He had gone into exile in 2003 in a deal ending Liberia's civil war.
About 120,000 people were killed in Sierra Leone's conflict, with rebels mutilating thousands more -- cutting off arms, legs, ears or noses.
Taylor is accused of arming, training and controlling RUF rebels, blamed for many of the mutilations, and of being involved in the "blood diamonds" trade.
His defence case is due to open on July 13, according to the court in The Hague.
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